Friday, May 1, 2009

A Letter to TNH

Dear TNH, 

I have noticed through comments, facebook friend requests and twitter followers that many of your writers and editors read the blog. I really appreciate that. It means a lot to see that the premier source of UNH student news enjoys the up and coming phenomenon known as "The University of Nonsensical Happenings."  I look at TNH as my older brother. I am the spoiled younger brother who can get away with what ever I write. But you have editors and rules and you understand grammar and you know how to spell words more then two syllables long without Word spell check and you know how to avoid run on sentences and you understand the basic principles of journalism. I don’t have those things, but as a blogger I have my creativity. Over the past few issues I have noticed some suspicious articles that made me wonder how you came about them.

In a recent issue TNH picked up an AP story about Liberty University. Hmm, I recall writing an article on LU and their ridiculous rules on Sunday April 19th, which was well before your issue. There are thousands of news articles everyday and you just happened to choose one and put it into your paper that I had very recently discussed. I wonder what gave you the idea to research that topic. You’re welcome.

In your issue from Tuesday April 28th (No. 49 Volume 98) there was a front-page article on the UNH advising system. On Tuesday April 21st I wrote an article on some general education classes offered here at UNH. In the final paragraph I called out my advisor for not being helpful at all. I even quoted her saying, “I don't know why they assume that just because I am a professor I can help advise students. I have my own things to worry about.” Your article was about how professor-advisors aren’t helpful. Hmm, again strange similarities… You’re welcome.

In same post I wrote about classes I had this to say about Germs 101: “Germs requires you to buy a clicker and access code which are about $18-20 each, but you probably only use them about 7 times the entire semester.” In this statement I meant that the clickers were a waste of money. And what do I see on the front page of today’s TNH (Friday May 1st)? I see an article about the pros and cons and whether or not clickers are needed. Wow, that’s strike three.

 TNH, I really enjoy that you read the blog, but please stop taking my ideas and turning them into more well written and organized front-page articles. It’s like you’re saying “hey here’s a good idea, now let’s edit it, make it longer and better and print it.” (In my mind the person saying this has a top hot, a monocle and is smoking a cigar.) I am not your creativity slave. I like the relationship we have built, don’t ruin it by taking advantage of the fact that you have a much larger audience than I do. At first I was a little upset about these "coincidences", but I have decided to take this as a compliment. You obviously think that my posts are awesome and you wish that you could be awesome too. I think that is your way of giving me some credit, even though only a very small percentage of students would notice it. I would normally end a post about TNH with “keep up the good work” but I will end this one with: Thanks; I’ll continue to work hard. 

Stay classy, not UMassy.


  1. TNH, the Carlos Mencia of news articles.

  2. Or have you been coming to TNH writers' meetings and stealing our ideas? Keep in mind that our stories are stories are usually assigned the week before they appear in the paper, and some far earlier that that. Advising is something we write about every year, and we were trying to find a writer for the clicker story since last semester (there was one editor in particular that was obsessed with the issue).

    As far as the AP story, I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but we don't put that much thought into what we run in terms of wire. We search for key words on our wire services (university, college, facebook, students, teenagers, new hampshire etc.) and choose the ones that are most relevant. Then we use the ones that are long enough to fill the holes we have.

    We do, however, keep our eye on on certain blogs and other newspapers for stories we may have missed. It's not unusual, we've had dozens of stories "copied" by Foster's Daily Democrat and the Union Leader this year. Someone once said "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" but that doesn't stop it from being annoying.

    Keeping reading....and writing, we don't want to run out of ideas. (bwahaha)

    John Wayne Ferguson
    Senior Advisor

    P.S. Your mental picture of us should be more J. Jonah Jameson, less Mr. Moneybags.

  3. I appreciate that you took the time to respond once again. It's good to know that I do have a few readers. In all honesty, once I saw the AP story I have been waiting to write something like this as a joke. (I actually figured that would be how you search for articles.) The other two articles couldn't have been more generic for UNH. ( I mean who here doesn't hate clickers and their advisors?) I almost called you guys out for a swine flu article, but I wanted to keep it at the UNH level. I will definitely keep reading, and I actually enjoy when we have similar topics. It goes to show how the majority of the students feel about the university.